Spirit of Rathlin

Spirit of Rathlin.

Introduction.

Spirit of Rathlin is the Ballycastle to Rathlin Island ferry route’s purpose built vehicle ferry.  The vessel was built by Arklow Marine Services of Ireland for the Department for Regional Development (now Department for Infrastructure) at a cost of £2.8m, and will be operated by Rathlin Island Ferry Limited under a 10 year contract with the DFI.  AMS also constructed the purpose built passenger catamaran operating the Rathlin Island route, Rathlin Express.  Spirit of Rathlin is essentially an updated and modernised version of Canna, the vessel she will replace.  In advance of the introduction of the Spirit of Rathlin, a new harbour costing £1m is being built at at Church Bay in Rathlin in order to accommodate the new vessel. This will consist of a new ferry ramp, berthing pier, car park area, fendering system, lighting and re-alignment of the road at Rathlin Island Harbour.

Spirit of Rathlin in mid-air during her ‘launch’ by the crane barge Lara I. This picture is a good demonstration of the shallow draught of this type of vessel – only the area in red sits below the water line! Courtesy of Arklow Marine Services.

Spirit of Rathlin was ‘launched’ at the end of September 2017 when she was lifted by the heavy-lift crane barge Lara I from the north quay at Arklow into the River Avoca. Spirit of Rathlin was designed by Burness Corlett Three Quays (BCTQ) for the Rathlin Island ferry service and is classified by Lloyds.  Coincidentally, one of BCTQ’s predecessor companies designed Canna, the vessel Spirit of Rathlin will replace.  On 16th January 2017 Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazard announced that Spirit of Rathlin was complete and ready to enter service once the works to accommodate her at Rathlin were completed.

Title image: Spirit of Rathlin departing Wiklow.   Courtesy of AMS.

Deckplans

General arrangement drawings of Spirit of Rathlin can be downloaded from the DFI website here.

Technical Information

 

 

Spirit of Rathlin

IMO Number

9780122

Building Yard

Arklow Marine Services, Arklow, Ireland

Hull Number  62
Launched  September 2017
Completed

Jan 2017

Construction cost

£2.8m

Classification

Lloyds Register of Shipping

Owner

Department for Infrastructure (UK Government)

Operator (current)

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited

In service (Current route)

TBC

Call sign

MAEH2

Length overall (incl ramp)

28.17m

Length (between perpendiculars)

23.12m

Length registered

23.95m

Beam

8m

Draught (aft)

1.52m

Gross Tonnage

105

Machinery
  •  2 x 331kW (450hp) diesel engines driving 2 x Clements Engineering Hyperform propellers.
  •  Clements Engineering steering gear and dual Clements Engineering rudders.
  •   1 x thruster unit (forward).
Service speed 

9.5kts

Capacity
  • 140 passengers
    (42 passengers on No.1 passenger deck, 80 passengers on No.2 passenger deck, and 18 passengers on No.3 passenger deck).
  • 6 passenger cars or one HGV.
Vehicle deck configuration

Single bow loading vehicle deck forward of the passenger accommodation.

Onboard Facilities in use

 

  • Passenger seating
  • Toilets (including disabled toilet)
Flag (Current)

United Kingdom (Belfast)

 

Additional Photographs

Spirit of Rathlin under construction at AMS. BCTQ.
Spirit of Rathlin under construction at AMS. BCTQ.

 

Spirit of Rathlin nears the water following her lift from the quay by the crane barge Lara I. Courtesy of Arklow Marine Services.

 

Spirit of Rathlin rests in the River Avoca following her 'launch' by the crane barge Lara I. Courtesy of Arklow Marine Services.
Spirit of Rathlin rests in the River Avoca following her ‘launch’ by the crane barge Lara I. Courtesy of Arklow Marine Services.

 

Spirit of Rathlin on her first day of sea trials. Courtesy of Arklow Marine Services.
Spirit of Rathlin on her first day of sea trials. Courtesy of Arklow Marine Services.
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